Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner
Taranaki DHB’s first ED nurse practitioner enables improved patient experience
Taranaki DHB now has its first emergency department (ED) nurse practitioner (NP), Deb Greenhead.
It’s great news for our busy ED and our patients. With her nurse practitioner qualification, Deb’s skills and knowledge are helping reduce patient wait times at Taranaki Base Hospital’s ED, shorten their length of stay and ultimately increase patient satisfaction.
After completing a year of clinical training, Deb – who already has 23 years of emergency medicine under her belt, now has the authority to carry out a wider range of tasks such as assessing and diagnosing patients and even prescribing medication.
With Deb on board we’ve been able to put a new nursing model of care in place that gives patients with minor injuries and illnesses faster and more holistic emergency nursing care.
There are currently two other NPs working in the hospital and one completing her final year of study this year in the Renal Department. Taranaki DHB is keen to support more of our nurses to work towards becoming nurse practitioners.
Completing the year-long University of Auckland Nurse Practitioner Training Programme (NPTP) meant Deb had to complete more than 500 hours of supervised clinical practice, eight papers, numerous case studies, exams, lectures, excellence learning, and presentations to the Nursing Council.
The funding provided to Deb by Health Workforce New Zealand and the support she received from Taranaki DHB and her ED family during her nurse practitioner journey was extremely helpful.
“I was also fortunate to have great mentors. My ED colleagues and manager, the ED nurse educator Jonele Woodhead, associate director of nursing Claudia Matthews and director of nursing Lyn Wardlaw have all been amazing and supported me through this year-long process,” Deb said.
“The nurse practitioner journey has been amazing, with many ups and downs. It is challenging but makes you a better person. The key thing I have accomplished is to have greater control over ensuring an excellent patient outcome,” she added.
Deb is one of just 13 nurses across the Taranaki region who are either now qualified NPs or are on the NP pathway.